As you may or may not know, I am spending another season collecting bear hair in Northwestern Montana. Every so often, whilst we are burgling the fur clumps left on our rub trees, a park visitor pops around the corner and asks if we can tell what kind of bear left that hair? The honest answer is no, not really. Black bears can be any number of colors, and at the end of the day, it is hard to tell for certain their fur from any shade of grizzly, unless it is that deep blue-black hue. That said, we can (more or less) safely say what kind of bear hair we are not collecting. In keeping with a series, here is:
A (partial) Guide to Recognizing Your Bears
Range: Northern North America, Europe, Asia, Wall Street.
Diet: Lots of vegetation, berries, fruit, carcasses, fish, grubs. Mammals great and small, if it feels like a chase. Grizz eats whatever the hell it wants.
Range: The Arctic.
Diet: Ringed, harbor, bearded, harp, and hooded seals, other blubbery marine mammals, including the occasional beluga whale. I said whale!
Random fact: The biggest in the family, polar bears are so well insulated their body heat does not register on an infrared devise. This makes them excellent spies.
|Get it together, Sun!. You look like a Shar Pei with heat stroke.|
~ ~ ~Intermission~ ~ ~
|Hello, is it me you’re looking for?|
Range: Forest and grasslands of India,
Nepal, Bangladesh, etc.
Diet: Mostly termites and ants (check out
that schnoz), but anything will do.
Random Fact: The Sloth Bear’s Lionel
Ritchie-esque shaggy faux-mullet ear/neck
fur help keep little insects away. And that
ain’t the half of it. They have long tongues,
can close their nostrils and curl their lips
over their noses, and lose their front top
canines, all to better suck up insects.
Apparently their aggressive hoovering
can be heard 300 meters away.
Range: Northern and Western South
Diet: Fallen fruits, palm nuts, orchid
roots, honey, sugarcane, cactus.
Random Fact: Closest living relatives
of the epic Short-Faced Bear of
Pleistocene fame. Named for face
markings vaguely reminiscent of
corrective eye wear.
|Ready for my close-up|
Range: Southeast China.
Diet: Bamboooooo! Only bamboo.
International poster bear for adorable.
Range: Kingdom of Caring, Care-A-Lot, the Forest of Feelings, my first-grade birthday cake. Diet: Sugared cloud cones, the hopes and dreams of young children, mainlined love.
Range: Atop Mount Everest, north-Atlantic icebergs, jungle ditches, free falling through mid-air, under piles of leaves, up in trees, on book stands everywhere.
Diet: Raw organs, insects great and small, urine, deer shit, real vowels, and basically whatever it takes to SURVIVE!
Range: Happy bellies and cavity-ridden mouths worldwide.
Diet: You’re not on one if you’re eating these bears.
Range: San Fransisco, Miami, D.C., New York, Seattle, worldwide.
Diet: Listen, what a bear eats in the privacy of his own home is no body’s business but his own.
Range: Chicago and fields away.
Coors Old Style, chicken wings, deepdish, haters. Just check The Fridge. Ha! Then please, watch this!